My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

Currently reading...

Personal favorites

Search my library

Library Thing

Victorian Studies


Fine Arts

Buy Books!



« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | On the perils of looking at a title page »

September 03, 2006


Ellen Moody

It seems to me you overpraise _The Illusionist_. However, it has some interest.

I'd call it frivolous but expertly-done. If you go to seeexpecting to hear some ludicrously melodramatic
dialogue and camera gazing on the latest incarnation of the Scarlett
Johanssen ideal (with her lips made up to recall a vagina), it can be absorbing.

In brief, it's the closest thing in film form to a Wilkie Collins
novel I've ever experienced. The central character turns out to be a chief inspector who loses his job and place for exposing a powerful
politician, and it has much sexuality, lurid quick emotional
passionate betrayals (sudden violence), and playing many games with reality (in the film through playing with what may be done with
film). And a penumbra I'll call it of fable resonances which are
political in thrust (against our fascist militarist regimes through
the Prisoner of Zenda type story) and if you view against the grain
(or with it) the ambiguous-passive woman victim.

It shows up the sheer stupidity of the musical _Woman in White_ and
how little the producers of that understood anything of the
Collins-Mary Elizabeth Braddon type novels.



I was not tempted to see this film until reading your thoughts. Thank you for posting about it!


That was a great review, LP. I'd only seen the trailer for this movie and was under the impression it was an adaptation of Robertson Davies' "World of Wonders". I don't know Millhauser's short story, but Davies' novel tells the tale of a magician named 'Eisengrim' and also plays with the illusions of magic and filmmaking.


Thank you for the review Good Job!

The comments to this entry are closed.